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. this development required individualized and particular orders from the fisa court to conduct investigations. let's fast forward to 2001. president bush decided in secret to authorize the national security agency to start a new program of warrantless surveillance inside the united states. this is in complete contravention of the fourth amendment and complete contravention of the law at that time. as i'm sure and many of my colleagues will certainly recall this was revealed to the american public four years later when it was reported in "the new york times" in 2005. and in response after years of back and forth contentious debate, congress passed the fisa amendments act, the bill that we are considering on this floor today. we're considering a reauthorization. this law gave the government new surveillance authorities, but it also included a sunset provision to ensure that congress examines where the law is working and the way it was intended. now, the debate we're having right now on this floor is that reexamination. i will just note that i think it's unfortunate that we're doing this at the last
bills. the first is on the fisa act. the other is a relief package for those areas affected by hurricane sandy. live work on the senate are companion network c-span2. and discussions continue over the so-called fiscal cliff. negotiations continue. nobel laureate and a burmese opposition leader aung san suu kyi accepted the congressional gold medal in september. she said it represents the aspirations of the burmese people for a democratic transition. we will also hear from secretary of state hillary clinton and former first lady laura bush. >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. >> ladies and all men, good afternoon and welcome to the capital. this is a great day for the american people, and we are happy to welcome you here today. gold medals are the highest level of appreciation for distinguished achievement. the first congressional gold medal was awarded to general george washington in 1776 for liberating the city of boston. today, we will present a congressional gold medal to aung san suu kyi in recognition of her
of the foreign intelligence surveillance act or fisa. in about 45 minutes, we're expecting a vote on an amendment to the fisa bill, this a vote on final passage. the house passed it in september, and if the senate passes without amendment, it heads to the president for his signature. the senate is expected to move to a $60 billion spending bill for hurricane sandy victims. we're expecting up to 21 amendments on that bill. now live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, before whom the generations rise and pass away, watch over america and use our senators to keep it strong and good. imprint upon their hearts such reverence for you that they will be ashamed and afraid to offend you. remind them that their thoughts, words, and deeds are under divine scrutiny. bless also the many others who work faithfully on capitol hill and whose labors bring dignity and efficiency to the legislative process. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the presi
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